NFL makes December schedule change, kickoff times decided for rare tripleheader in Week 16

On Tuesday, the NFL made a few changes to its 2019 schedule. It first flexed the Week 12 Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers game to "Sunday Night Football," and then finalized a tripleheader which will take place on Dec. 21 -- the Saturday of Week 16. According to ESPN's Field Yates, the NFL is slating the Houston Texans at Tampa Bay Buccaneers for 1 p.m. ET, the Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots for 4:30 p.m. ET and the Los Angeles Rams at 49ers for 8:15 p.m. ET. All three games will be broadcast on NFL Network. 

This season will mark the first time since 2005 that the NFL has held a Saturday tripleheader. Whether it's a one, two or three games, Saturday NFL games in late December have become an annual tradition. This season will mark the 48th time in the past 49 years that there's been at least one Saturday game on the regular-season schedule.

The Texans will be looking to repeat as AFC South champions this season, and they have done a good job so far, as they lead the division at 6-3. The Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans are not far behind, however, which means every game will be important for them moving forward. While their 3-6 record is nothing to boast about, Jameis Winston's Buccaneers have surprised a couple of teams this season. Their schedule also gets easier down the stretch, so they could be a team to watch over the next month or so. 

The Bills kept things close with the Patriots at home in September and lost by just six points even with Matt Barkley under center. The Patriots are no longer undefeated, but the Bills have faltered over the past few weeks. They were blown out by the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 8 and then lost to Baker Mayfield and the Browns on Sunday. The Bills are still considered one of the biggest surprises this season, but they will need to regroup and get back into the win column to prepare for the chance to shock the world by taking down the Patriots in Foxborough next month.

The NFC West is one of the more competitive divisions in football, and the Saturday night showdown between the Rams and 49ers could end up having some important ramifications. The 5-4 Rams have been a disappointment, but they still have time to fight for a playoff bid. If they go on a run over the next month, their matchup with the 8-1 49ers could be a must-watch. 

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